Shadows after Midnight

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Part 2: The Gala

Ok, this is how we and the rest of the girls attending the BAFTA party were to be attired.

It certainly promised to be an evening to be remembered.

Think prom on steroids.

Think naivety, and ill-timed ventures

Think about the games and devices of certain types of amateurish people like to employ.

Think about how I worded this story’s title.

Think about reading the rest of this to find out what in blazes I’m chattering on about...

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Now for the night of the party, my twin brother said he would take and pick us up since drinking would be involved.

Or as so eloquently he put it, “take care of delivering the goods”

At the time he had an old Junker which I told him we wouldn’t be seen dead in.

So he borrowed our uncle’s antique Bentley to take us there in style. Though he drew a line and refused to rent a chauffeur’s uniform.

But He finally agreed (with Ginny’s coaxing) to wear his butler’s tux costume. Which looked sharp with his neatly trimmed beard.

The plan was to stay at Micke’s house after the party. They had a finished basement with a stocked bar and sitting area. A perfect spot for a sleepover. It was there we dressed so we would not have to lug changes of cloths or our PJs.

My brother picked us up right on time that night, though we were half an hour behind it.

He came down to the basement to wait and the way his eyes popped at seeing us all dressed up said more than spoken words on how we looked.

As we giggled at him he had a jolly time teasing us on how we looked like a bunch of clueless actresses, or maybe we appeared more like a group of prim improper princesses, or a group of giggling...Ginny finally shushed him up and said “we are ready if you are done being a prig sir.”

He opened the doors and ushered us all inside. Ginny was helped up to sit in front with the chauffeur, as we had begun calling him. For Ginny was all his, even if my twit brother had not figured that out on his own yet.

Micke and I were helped to slip into the comfy leather seats in the tight spaced back.

It was about a 45-minute drive out on the other side of our county, to reach the large house where the party was to take place.

But we had to make a stop at an Off-license to buy a bottle of her favourite mixer that Micke had forgotten to grab from the house.

Ginny stayed in the car, but Micke dragged me along inside.

There was no one in the store as we entered, aside from the young female clerk who eyed us with a mixture of jealousy and antipathy.

Micke finally found her bottle and we turned to head to the checkout. A gent had come in and made his purchase a lot quicker than us, and now was heading out the door. He must have been focused on something, surprisingly not even noticing us as he left, dressed up like we were. Though we were some three rows and probably out of his line of vision.

We took our purchase, slipped back onto the smooth leather seats, and then continued on our way without further interruptions.

We arrived at the party house only 25 minutes after the ‘gala’ started. A record for us lot my twin teased.

The house was located on a long winding road with a wooded park on one side and widespread hoses on the other. Some of them could even be labelled estates. The one where the party was held fell somewhere in between.

It was a quiet street, yet two cars were following us down. I had noticed this and assumed they contained fellow party guests. But one turned into a driveway a few houses before us, the other, a silver car, waited until we turned down ours, then after a few minutes drove on past.

So apparently, we were the last to arrive.

My brother drive-in and dropped us off at the door, but it was a tight squeeze with all the cars already parked there.

Not wanting to risk a scratch on the sports car, he instructed us to meet him in the park’s entrance lot, located a few houses down then across the road. He would be there between 12:30 and 1 am.

He knew us all to well, the party was scheduled to be over at 12.

As he opened the doors and he helped each of us out, he explicitly instructed us to wait in the house until he gave a beep as he drove by the on his way to the parking lot. The old antique sports car had a very loud, distinctive horn.

Only then were we to leave the house and take the sidewalk to across from where he would be parked to be picked up.

The other two accepted this plan without question. I thought it odd, however, for why didn’t he just pick us up curb side?

So, I wondered if my twin had an ulterior motive, a bit of role-playing perhaps, in mind for after the party.

He was into games of jewel thievery, and the way we three were flaunting the “goods” that night would make us proper prey for any jewel thief worth his salt.

As we watched my brother, dapper in a stiff white shirt with black bow tie, close the doors I was contemplatively mulling over this.

I’m sure that if he planned a party like this it would be based on an evening in the Casbah. I murmured to myself as he waved and slid into the driver’s seat. He could be such a devil.

Beeping that distinctive old horn of the Bentley, my twin brother, whom I still believed was conniving, left us.

And as he started on his agenda to kill time before picking us up, he may indeed have begun plotting up something centered on his elegantly attired charges.

But we never found out if that was a truth that night, due to circumstances that we all had no clue had already been brewing up along those lines.

Completely unaware of that particular dark cloud gathering, we waved, then turned and walked up to the double doors where Micke than rang the bell.

It was party time.

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